Well, July 1 was a strange day for me; in fact, a very strange day. It was one filled with synchronicities concerning a specific place in England. Or, depending on your own personal perspective on synchronicities, it was simply a series of random coincidences that only appeared to be something more. I have no solid opinion on what causes synchronicities, except to say that I seem to get a hell of a lot of them. Why, of course, is the big question, since – as with July 1 – any intended meaning behind what happened eludes me. So, with that said, read on.
Around 9:00 a.m. on July 1, I headed out to do a bunch of chores around town. I always like to have music on when I’m driving, so I chose one of my favorites, the UK band, Veronica Falls. In my view, their best song is “Beachy Head,” a song about the UK’s most notorious spot at which people choose to take their own lives. Well, since the song is a good, catchy one, I let it play a couple of times. Nothing strange about that, except for what happened later.
When I got back home, I set about getting down to work for the day. This involved doing research for two articles. One on the mountaineering aspects of the life of Aleister Crowley and the other on the distinct drop of sightings of the creatures of Loch Ness in the 21st Century. That’s when things got a bit weird. But, just before I get to that, a bit of background on Beachy Head.
Situated near to the English town of Eastbourne, Beachy Head stands 531 feet above sea-level. The beauty of the place is, however, in stark contrast to its tragedy. Around twenty people, every year, throw themselves to their deaths from Beachy Head. Figures show that from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s alone, more than 120 people ended their lives at Beachy Head.
With that said, back to the story. I began with Crowley, and a planned article on his passion for mountain climbing. The first thing I checked out was Crowley’s The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, The Spirit of Solitude, An Autohagiography. I was more than intrigued to stumble on, in barely a minute, the following words from Crowley:
“My grand passion was Beachy Head. The fantastic beauty of the cliffs can never be understood by anyone who has not grappled them. Mountain scenery of any kind, but especially rock scenery, depends largely on foreground. This is especially the case when one has acquired an intimate knowledge of the meaning, from the climber’s point of view, of what the eyes tell one. The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.”
Crowley continued: “The only chalk in England which is worth reading, so to speak, is that on Beachy Head. This is due to the fact that it is relatively so much higher than other similar cliffs. Most chalk cliffs are either unbroken precipices, unclimbable in our present stage of the game, or broken-down rubble; but Beachy Head offers rock problems as varied, interesting and picturesque as any cliffs in the world. I began to explore the face. Popular ignorance had surrounded it with innumerable absurd rumours.”
Also from Crowley: “The general opinion was that no one had ever climbed it. There was, however, a legend that it had once been done. I settled the point by walking up, smoking a pipe, with my dog (I had no woman available) in nine and a half minutes from the beach to the coastguard station.”
Well, the reference to Beachy Head caught my attention, but not overly so. It was just a coincidence. So I thought. With a couple of hours of research complete, I then moved onto the matter of the Loch Ness Monster in the 21st century. In doing so, I came across the work of a white witch named Kevin Carlyon. Back in 2001, Carlyon – amid a great deal of media interest and coverage – performed a ritual at Loch Ness to protect the Nessies. And, let’s not forget, Crowley had a home at Loch Ness: Boleskine House.
And then I found something that really intrigued me: Carlyon had a Beachy Head connection. In 2001, a particular 200-foot-high chalk-tower at Beachy Head – known as the Devil’s Chimney, and which Crowley decided to climb – came crashing down onto the rocks below. Thousands of tons of rock slammed into the ground, fortunately injuring or killing absolutely no-one.
When the incident occurred, the UK’s Independent newspaper said: “The collapse brought out some unconventional responses. A local ‘white witch’ planned a ‘cleansing ceremony’ near the cliffs yesterday after it emerged that the late occultist Alistair Crowley, famed for practising black magic in the Twenties, had climbed the chalk tower in 1894.”
The Independent continued: “It is claimed he predicted an evil spell would fall on the people of Eastbourne if the tower ever collapsed. Now, Kevin Carlyon, who says he is a High Priest in the Coven of White Witches, is to conduct a ceremony to ‘dispel any evil.'”
So, across just a few hours I had (a) played Veronica Falls’ “Beachy Head” (and played it twice, and, admittedly, couldn’t get it out of my head that day); (b) come across a Crowley connection to the location; and (c) stumbled on the Independent’s story on Beachy Head that focused, in part, on the work of Kevin Carlyon.
So, what does all this mean? Does it mean anything? Or is it simply a case of random, unconnected events merely appearing to have some form of supernatural significance? They are questions that, even though I get a lot of synchronicities, I cannot answer.
Of course, some might state that given the sheer number of random events that occur during the course of every single day of the lives of billions of people, occasionally something is going to happen that seems to be downright weird, but which actually isn’t.
On the other hand, things like this happen to me quite often. Sometimes, even to a very strange and extremely complex degree. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I’m looking for synchronicities and interpreting occasional, coincidental events as something more. It could indeed be exactly that. Or, possibly, there’s something else going on. Something that, in terms of its nature and intent, eludes us.
All I can say for sure, is that on July 1, Beachy Head crossed paths with me on no less than three occasions, and in just a few hours at most. Thoughts, anyone?